Saturday 26 September 2015

The BBC's media go-to boar

Steve Hewlett, sticking his hand up a senior BBC executive

As no BBC representative was available to discuss Piggate on Newswatch, who did Newswatch turn to instead? 

Inevitably to Steve Hewlett of The Guardian.

I may be the only person left who still thinks of him as "Steve Hewlett of The Guardian" because nowadays, when he appears on the BBC...which seems to be very often, especially when there's an important story 'about the BBC'...he's usually described as an 'independent media consultant' or, more often, merely as the presenter of Radio 4's The Media Show.

On this week's Newswatch Samira Ahmed introduced him as:
Steve Hewlett. He's a former BBC executive and introduces The Media Show on Radio 4.
All right and proper perhaps. However, I have to say - and this may be me simply being forgetful - but I don't think I've ever heard Steve Hewlett described as "a former BBC executive" before. Wonder what role he held exactly? 

It's hard to find out online, though LinkedIn (minus a stunning photo) records him as being a former Panorama editor, so I suppose that must be it.  

Over the years I've looked for a Wikipedia entry on him and none has ever appeared. There is a Wikipedia article about 'Steve Hewlett', but that one's about a ventriloquist from Basingstoke who appeared on Britain's Got Talent - and I'm really not convinced that they're the same Steve Hewlett at all...

....though Steve's contribution to this week's Newswatch, where he basically gave the BBC a completely clean bill of health over its Piggate coverage, could be a sign that I'm actually wrong about that. Yes, he wasn't actually engaging in any ventriloquism but he did seem to be providing a spot-on impersonation of a typical BBC executive appearing on Newswatch exonerating the BBC on all counts, combined with a side impersonation of Frank Spencer:
Look, my estimation, for what it's worth...I'm not sure the BBC did a mischief here. 
At least he didn't say 'whoopsie'.

That said, as ever, much of what he said came across as reasonable and I couldn't find anything much to disagree with him about.

Mmmm - nice!

1 comment:


    During the BBC inquiry, when Angie Bray raised it, he claimed to be unaware of 28Gate, but then proceeded to pronounce the BBC would have got it about right.

    About as safe a pair of not actually independent hands as could be hoped for.


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